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Injuries Caused by Uneven Sidewalks: Who Is Liable?

Uneven sidewalks can be a severe safety hazard, leading to slips, trips, and falls. Unfortunately, injuries caused by uneven sidewalks are often serious, requiring long-term treatment and rehab. Who is liable for these sidewalk injuries? And what can injured pedestrians do to get the compensation they deserve? Read on to find out.

Common Causes of Uneven Sidewalks

Sidewalk injuries are a common occurrence, especially in areas with aging infrastructure. Injuries can range from mild to severe, often resulting in costly medical bills. Some of the common causes may include but are not limited to:

Tree Roots

Tree roots can push up concrete slabs, resulting in cracks and holes on the sidewalk. Tree roots often grow under sidewalks and can cause structural damage to the sidewalk’s foundation.

Poor Maintenance

Poorly maintained sidewalks may have cracks or potholes. These hazards can easily cause slips, trips, and falls.


Construction sites often have sidewalks that are uneven and dangerous. Workers may also leave tools, equipment, and other debris on the sidewalk, leading to injuries. There could also be holes or trenches on the sidewalk during construction.

Who Is Liable?

Depending on the circumstances, public and private entities can be held liable for injuries caused by uneven sidewalks.

Public Entities

In most cases, public entities are responsible for maintaining city infrastructures, such as streets and sidewalks. Local governments must maintain and repair sidewalks in their jurisdiction.

This includes cleaning debris from the sidewalk, patching cracks and holes on the sidewalk’s surface, and removing hazardous trees or tree roots that may cause damage. If a public entity fails to maintain the sidewalk properly, it can be held liable for any injuries that occur as a result.

However, liability in a slip-and-fall case can vary depending on state law. For example, some states require the injured party to be using the sidewalk for its intended purpose to file a claim.

Private Entities

In some cases, private entities may also be responsible for maintaining sidewalks. For example, if a business owns the sidewalk in front of their property, they are responsible for keeping it safe and free of hazards. If a private entity fails to do so, an injured party can hold them liable.

Injured Pedestrians’ Rights

Going through a minor or major injury caused by an uneven sidewalk can be a traumatic experience. These accidents are often serious and result in long-term treatment and rehabilitation. If you (or someone you know) have suffered an injury because of an uneven sidewalk, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Now that you know who is liable for injuries caused by uneven sidewalks, contact Rossman Law Group with any claims. We’re a personal injury law firm in Boise, Idaho, specializing in personal injury claims. You don’t have to go through this alone—let Rossman Law Group help you get the compensation you deserve.